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Monday, January 10, 2011

CES 2011 Report - Part 2 Audio Products

Here's Part 2 of my CES 2011 report, but this time it's strictly on the audio products that I saw. Keep in mind that everything below was seen on the main floor of the convention center and not at the hi-end audio-only Venetian.

Wireless Speakers
Wireless speaker technology was another thing under the radar at the show. Polk Audio came out with a wireless subwoofer (makes sense since you only need a limited bandwidth), and there was some talk that they'd have an entire 5.1 wireless system available in a few years.

Actually the technology for a full bandwidth wireless speaker system is already available, it's just incredibly expensive. The whole trick is to keep the quality high while keeping the cost down, which isn't so easy with high quality wireless products. We'll see what the next year brings.

The speaker on the left was one of the best sounding wireless laptop speakers that I've heard. Unfortunately, the picture that I took of the speakers details didn't come out so I don't know the make or model.

Samson's Laptop Mic
This was pretty cool. Samson's Go Mic clips to your laptop's screen and connects via USB. It's inexpensive ($59 retail) and gives you a better sound quality than you can get from most laptop mics and cameras.

Car Audio
It's hard to believe but after-market car audio is still alive and well. The extent that some people will go to in order to hurt themselves and bother their neighbors never ceases to amaze me. It's one thing if fidelity were an issue, but it's not. SPL is what counts.

Take a look at the picture of the pickup truck on the left, which can only be devised in order to announce it's presence from as far away as possible.

Ipod Docks
They're everywhere, and some of them are even starting to care about fidelity a little. Of course, most of them are still just a fashion statement, as evidenced by the picture on the left (yes, they are iPod docks).

Marshall Headphones
Marshall (yes, that one) was at the show rolling out their headphone series. Now this is a company always noted for its amplifier technology, not its transducers. Nonetheless, it looks like a way to take advantage of an established brand name in another market.

The amp stacks were there strictly for shock value.

Gibson Guitars was also at the show. Don't know exactly why they were, but their booth was busy. In fact, every booth that had musical instruments had a lot of interest.

In the past, Gibson actually had a huge tent outside in the parking lot, complete with endorsees playing signing and playing shows. They've obviously scaled back this year.

No, I didn't see many, not even in the Dual booth (they used to be one of the largest manufacturers), but this one caught my eye. It has a USB connection so you can digitize your records. Good idea, but the tone arm and platter were made so poorly that I'm sure you'd do a lot of damage to your discs in the process. In this example, they were playing an expensive Michael Jackson picture disc, for probably the last time.

Tomorrow, Part 3. Some of the oddities of the show.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The wireless speaker looks like this.


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